Yoko Ono on Fearing John Lennon's Killer and the Truth About Their Life Together

"It s very, very difficult for me to think about Chapman," Ono says

Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty

John Lennon would have turned 75 on Saturday.

In a new, far-ranging interview with The Daily Beast’s Tim Teeman, Yoko Ono reveals why she will never leave the apartment they shared in New York’s Dakota, why she thinks Lennon’s killer Mark David Chapman should stay in jail forever and the truth about Lennon’s much-discussed sexuality.

Ono “never” though about moving from the Dakota after Lennon was shot to death by Chapman outside the building’s doors on Dec. 8, 1980. “We shared this every day,” she explained. “Every day we shared each room The good memory supersedes the bad memory. The bad memory was just one that was terrible. But other than that, I felt we were still together. I would feel very strange if I had to leave this apartment. There are so many things that he touched here that he loved. Those things mean a lot.”

Chapman was denied parole last year for the eighth time, and his wife Gloria revealed around that time that the pair had written to Ono seeking forgiveness. (Ono has opposed every one of Chapman’s parole bids.)

“It’s very, very difficult for me to think about Chapman,” she says. “Especially because he doesn’t seem to think that was a bad thing to do One thing I think is that he did it once, he could do it again, to somebody else,” she adds. “It could be me, it could be Sean, it could be anybody, so there is that concern.”

“I said he’s crazy, but probably not – probably he had a purpose he wanted to accomplish like ‘Kill John Lennon,’ ” Ono elaborated. “So he might have another purpose. He’s not the kind of person who’s I don’t think he’s just doing it emotionally. There is a reason, whether a simple reason or not, to do what he does, and justify it. So that’s very scary.”

Of the speculation that swirled around Lennon’s sexuality (he was rumored to have slept with the Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, at one point), Ono said, “John and I had a big talk about it, saying, basically, all of us must be bisexual. And we were sort of in a situation of thinking that we’re not [bisexual] because of society. So we are hiding the other side of ourselves, which is less acceptable John and I thought it was good that people think we were bisexual, or homosexual.”

“But [Epstein and Lennon] went to Spain,” she continued, and when they came back, tons of reporters were asking, ‘Did you do it, did you do it?’ So he said, ‘I did it.’ Isn’t that amazing? But of course he would say that. I’m sure Brian Epstein made a move, yeah.”

But that was the extent of Lennon’s experience with other men, Ono explains. “The beginning of the year he was killed, he said to me, ‘I could have done it, but I can’t because I just never found somebody that was that attractive.’ Both John and I were into attractiveness – you know – beauty.”

Ono is currently single and lives alone: “I think most famous people are lonely because they are separate,” she said. “They have a separate life – whatever that is – from people around them. Even when you’re with them there’s a certain separation. It’s something you don’t create. It just happens in your life, and you either accept it or don’t.”

“I totally accept it,” she finishes.

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